Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class.
Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters cutting more than 30 pounds. Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower.
Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight and often there is always a risk of a fighter losing a percentage of their fight purse.
In this series, we will shine a light on select fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups.
In short, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.
Shanna “The Shanimal” Young (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Flyweight (125lbs.): 1-0 (UFC), 2-0 (MMA), Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 2 participant
Catchweight (128lbs.): 1-0 (MMA) – pro MMA debut
Bantamweight (135lbs.): 0-2 (UFC), 0-1 (DWCS), 4-1 (MMA), Former King of the Cage Champion
Shanna Young is 5’7″ tall with a 65″ reach and is currently 31 years old. Young has never actually missed weight, but it appears that it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to make flyweight and perform the following day.
Shanna has a highly muscular build and is a veteran of King of the Cage, Valor Fights, and Invicta FC promotions.
Young was the KOTC Bantamweight Champion back in 2015-2016.
Shanna appeared on the Contender Series back in 2019 with a 6-1 record but was submitted in the second round by Sarah Alpar. Young competed at 135lbs. for her DWCS bout.
Young then competed in a tournament for Invicta FC at 125lbs. just a month following her appearance on DWCS, going 1-1.
Shanna had her 2020 bout with Daiana Torquato canceled as a result of her falling ill during fight week. After falling ill, Young was not medically cleared to compete and as a result, her bout with Torquato was canceled. This bout had been scheduled to take place at flyweight.
Young was brought into the UFC on short notice in her next fight, competing at 135lbs for a pair of fights, and losing both.
After successfully making weight at 125lbs., Young got her first win in the UFC back in April against Gina Mazany.
Shanna again fell ill during fight week, in her most recently scheduled bout, and had to be hospitalized as a direct result of her weight cut. This action resulted in Shanna’s bout with Miranda Maverick being taken off UFC 278’s prelims.
Now, Shanna will try and run it back with Maverick and not only make weight but avenge a 2019 loss from the Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 2 tournament.
Though Shanna Young successfully made weight at 125lbs. earlier this year, having fallen ill 2 of the last 3 times she has tried to make this weight is not a good sign. Shanna Young will be a fighter to watch on the scale and come fight time as she looks to compete again at flyweight.